- I watched another documentary.by Paige
The other night while going through Netflix, I found a new documentary by The Minimalists called Less Is Now. I think this is exactly what I needed to hear. I had already been cutting down on buying things just to buy them for a couple of months now (I swear something happened to my mindset on my last birthday), but this documentary was very enlightening and definitely gave me more hope and motivation to continue. It also was inspirational with the concept of just letting go. I talked about this in my last post, but this time it really hit different.
For a while, I have been wanting to get rid of old j-pop and k-pop CDs, photo books, photos, and so on. I think most of the stuff may just need to be recycled, although I’d love to even give stuff away for free for anyone who is interested so it doesn’t go to complete waste. Most of the CDs I have, I don’t even listen to the groups anymore. So I wonder, why do I still have them? They take up way too much space. And I finally realized: it’s because of the memory of the item. But, is the memory really tied to the item? Not really. I will always have the memory in my mind, so why keep unnecessary things? It took me far too long to realize this, but it’s a start! This weekend, I am starting at the beginning of my big cleanout, which I suspect will go for at least a few months or even into the summer. This was something I was going to do a year ago, but then COVID happened and is still happening although at least I feel like I can manage better. I will definitely document the process here even with photos!
I also started listening to The Minimalists podcast which has also been fairly enlightening so far, especially with finances! I’m glad I finally discovered these guys. Another podcast and documentary I’d love to get into is the Headspace one. When I did therapy at my university, my therapist recommended the app to me and it honestly helped. I think watching the new documentary and getting into the podcast would at least be a start.
Now for a language learning check-in!
I’ll start with Korean, since that’s my priority focus. The lessons are still going very well and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned since I started in November. I almost have no issues reading the language, although am still learning different words and grammar. I think my speaking is okay, but I really want to work on my listening skills so I plan to do that on my own time with k-dramas along with BTS and ENHYPEN contents!
Second is Japanese. This is going way better than anticipated because I have had experience with the language for years, I just never really sat down to properly learn it. I think my speaking and listening skills for this are okay, but I need to work on my reading skills for actual hiragana/katakana. It’s also interesting that Japanese and Korean sentence order share a lot of similarities so it’s super easy to remember!
Last is Chinese. This is going well for having zero experience. I’ve learned pinyin so far and I think next week we’re starting with the actual textbook (HSK1). This language relies a lot on tones/sounds which I didn’t realize before, so I definitely want to focus on listening and speaking skills to make sure that I’m saying the right tone for the word I mean or else it becomes something entirely different!
Besides having weekly lessons, self-study is very important for me to do. If I was able to, I would just self-study for all the languages, but having at least one actual lesson a week with a tutor holds me accountable, like I need to study and can’t just show up on Zoom without having gone over anything. I definitely think this way works better for me. I also finally ordered some study supplies and materials to put together over the weekend. I try not to schedule lessons on weekends now to give myself a bit of a break from Zoom, and I think that works out fine as well! Another thing I need to do is go through all my textbooks I have accumulated over the years, and either donate them or decide to actually use them.
Anyway, the only other thing going on is that I do have another career counseling meeting on the 25th which is exciting. I’m hoping there will be workshops in the spring I can go to, even if it’s digitally. And I’ve just been playing a lot of Uncharted. I’m making my way through 4 right now, and it’s so incredible. I don’t want it to end, even though I’ll be playing it at least another 3-4 times fully to get all the trophies, plus multiplayer! I’m really addicted to the survival mode. It’s so much fun!
I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe! Until next time. Take care everyone!
- 2021 is the year of self-care.by Paige
Before I get started, I want to say a belated happy new year to you all! I hope this year treats you all well despite everything that is still happening in the world. I saw some countries are going on full lockdowns for a while. I hope everything can go back to some semblance of normal by the end of the year. Here’s hoping! Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, reward yourselves, and relax! Please also don’t forget to take care of your mental health. One thing I really learned the hard way last year during this was that you really need to take care of your mental health, and you need to know when to walk away from certain things in order to do so.
Since I’m no longer really posting on Twitter, I will most likely update here a bit more than usual. Meaning more than once every month! And will include some more topics as well, like what’s new with me and what’s going on!
Since it’s the start of a new year, I wanted to share some things I have been doing so far even though we’re only 4 days in. I also wanted to share some self care habits that I’ve picked up!
- What’s new?
I’m currently working on a new about page, and I’d love to make a 2021 scrapbook page for here just to list the media I engage with this year (books, games, shows, and so on). I also finally changed the site icon away from the Halloween themed one I had for too long.
Since my last post, I did finish and platinum Assassin’s Creed II. It was such a great experience to be able to replay it again! It was my third time playing it, but the last time I played was a few years ago so everything was pretty fresh. The remastered version also played very smoothly and was very beautiful to look at with the scenery. I’m excited to start Brotherhood soon since that takes place in Rome and I remember the landscapes and backdrops were gorgeous. I can’t wait to see how it looks in the newer version!
I have also completed Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception twice! I’m going to start my crushing playthrough tomorrow night. I forgot I played it on that difficulty back on the PS3 version. I think Uncharted 3 is the easiest of the first three games, so it shouldn’t be too difficult, especially after playing the first two on that mode so I have a lot of practice. I also forgot how amazing it is! The narrative is amazing, and I really love the locations and the soundtrack as well.
I’m debating whether or not to continue with Uncharted 4 after I get the platinum for 3, or go to Brotherhood instead. I actually never finished Uncharted 4 or Lost Legacy… I guess I was just too sad to see one of my favorite series end, but I guess it will happen soon enough! Hopefully I can decide by the weekend!
Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Uncharted, Nathan Drake’s birthday was also on January 1st, so happy belated birthday to Nate! I believe he’s 44 now.
- Mental health self-care things!
- Listening to video game soundtracks. Even if it’s a remix, extended version, or a medley of songs. I’ve been putting game soundtracks on while I study Korean and Japanese and it’s so relaxing and makes it less stressful! I’ve been mostly listening to the Uncharted soundtracks since I’ve been playing the games, along with Mass Effect since I never can get enough of those soundtracks. My current go to is this orchestral remix of Nate’s Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7Gz728d714 and this version of an emotional suite from the Mass Effect trilogy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxErfKLzfM. I also need to give a personal shoutout to the soundtrack for the game, Braid, one of my all time favorites.
- Knowing when too much is too much and be realistic with goals. This is another thing I learned last year. Originally, when I was planning out my language studies I wanted to do, I was going to do five lessons a week: 2 Korean (always), and either 1-2 Japanese/1-2 Chinese (alternating between the two each week). I ended up not going through with this, and instead, am just going 2 Korean lessons, 1 Japanese and 1 Chinese lesson a week. No lessons on weekends either if I can help it! I also have a cut off time for studying: 8pm every night with the exception of Tuesdays since my lesson will go until about 8:20pm. With this type of schedule, there is way less stress in me having to cram to study and ending up learning absolutely nothing.
- Not setting deadlines. I used to put a deadline for literally anything and everything. I know there are some things that do have a set deadline that can’t be avoided. But not everything has to have a deadline. You don’t have to post such and such a post by this date, or finish this book by Monday, or finish a game in a week. Take as much time as you need and don’t rush things. I feel like I accomplish way more this way, and again, less stress!
- Letting go. This is a huge one for me. I let go of a lot over the last couple of months in 2020. Letting go of social media was the biggest thing I think I’ve done in awhile. It’s hard, but I know it will be worth it in the long run. I already mentally feel 100 times better than I have in a long time. I’ve learned to get my news from other sources instead of doom scrolling through Twitter. I’m having tons of fun playing old favorite games without the stress of feeling that I need to screenshot and make edits for Instagram. While I will most likely never be free of my phone ever in this lifetime, I have it as far away as possible while I’m watching something or playing a game now so I don’t feel compelled to pick it up and look to see what’s happening online every 2 seconds. FOMO who?
I’ll save some more for another post! These are definitely the most important to me right now at least. As always, thank you for reading my blog and please take care! Until next time.
- Diving back into history.by Paige
First of all: I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and if you don’t celebrate, then I still hope you had a wonderful day!
While I may be on hiatus from social media, I’m still going to post here. Actually, I’ve been thinking about life before social media and that’s what prompted my break. Like, how I used to post updates on Livejournal almost 5 times a day. While most of it was fangirling, it still felt like those posts at least mattered and had some kind of feeling and substance behind them. Or maybe I’ve become disillusioned by social media and am just kind of over it? Will I finally quit Twitter in 2021? We’ll see… I have the next couple of weeks planned out with my work schedule and language studies, and it’s looking pretty intense. I’ll definitely still have free time, but the time I use for social media may need to go towards studying or some mental health self care. Maybe I’ll finally learn time management properly next year! I’m even using Google Calendar with color coding now! I never used to do that! I suppose this is what adulting is like, right?
Anyway, onto some other things that I’ve been spending my time with more now that I’m on a social media break!
I’ve already talked about the Uncharted video game series a bit before. I’d like to add another game series into the mix to go along with that one!
After I got the platinum for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (still one of my top tier favorite games of all time!), I decided to move onto Assassin’s Creed II. Why? Well, at the beginning of this year, I did start Assassin’s Creed II, but of course, I didn’t even finish sequence one. I played through it years ago and got 100% completion for it on PS3. Now, I’m replaying it as part of the Ezio Collection on my PS4 Pro. With this replay, I am rediscovering my love of Assassin’s Creed and history. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d yet again go back to university and turn my history minor into a major but since I don’t, I guess the Italian Renaissance history and Leonardo da Vinci audiobooks will have to do for now. I used to be a diehard fan of the AC series a few years ago. After Syndicate, I feel like I was burnt out by it and only played a bit of Origins before moving onto something else.
Maybe it’s because I’m over games coming out broken with the promise of it being patched later (and I know Ubisoft is guilty of this as well), but I am just really into… “older” games these days? I think it could be this entire year, coupled with nostalgia and wanting to revisit old favorites and rediscovering why I loved them in the first place. I think this could be yet another answer to getting through my backlog: replaying old series that I didn’t finish every game in.
I think over the next few months, I am going to bounce between Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, and probably Tomb Raider as well. I am just really feeling these historical adventure type games lately. To make sure I don’t get totally bored, I have some random horror games to play in between: Daymare 1998, Little Hope, and Dawn of Fear to name a couple! Of course, there are a few releases in 2021 I will check out, namely Little Nightmares 2, Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and the Nier remaster which are for sure games I am getting day one.
I know this was a short post this time. I am still working on getting the BTS and ENHYPEN posts going as well and will have some free time soon to be able to really dive into what I want to do with those! And I still need to rewrite my about section. I’m thinking tomorrow will be a great day for writing and studying.
As always, thanks for reading my ramblings on here. Until next time!
- My personal 2020 year in review.by Paige
We still have a bit more of 2020 to go. It’s almost over and things will get better in 2021! With these last couple of weeks of 2020, I figured I would write a post going over my year and address my personal goals for 2021.
What didn’t I accomplish this year?
- Getting my driver’s license: I was going to go for it way back in the Spring. Once the pandemic hit stateside and everything was uncertain… I just didn’t do anything about it. Until recently, that is! I am going for the written permit exam on Tuesday morning. I have been studying for it so I’m hoping to pass, but I will accept whatever the result is.
- Getting a new job: I believe I mentioned in a previous post about doing career meetings with a career advisor (via Zoom of course). Unfortunately, the past two months haven’t worked out with that but we have reconnected for January! So hopefully I can get something new for next year.
What did I accomplish this year?
- Getting help with my back issues: I started acupuncture in November for my back and it is helping a little bit more each time. I don’t go back until January due to the holiday, but am excited to continue with it for however long I need to! It’s also very relaxing so it helps with any of my anxiety and/or stress issues as well.
- Graduating from university with a second BA: I honestly forget this happened because it just felt kind of… well, it didn’t seem to have a conclusive ending honestly. There really wasn’t any kind of final meeting between my two classes I was taking. I’m not sure if there will be anything for next year to celebrate it, but hoping there will be, even if it’s at the end of the summer or in the fall.
- Selecting only 2-3 KPOP groups to purchase merch of: Now, don’t get me wrong at all, I still love a lot of KPOP groups, but buying merch for a bunch of different groups wasn’t very realistic for me to do. Now, I only buy BTS, Blackpink and ENHYPEN merch. I’m sure there will be special exceptions sometimes as well, like me trying to buy KAI’s mini album and failing because SM didn’t keep proper stock of it basically anywhere but that’s a whole other thing. Doing this has also allowed me to really appreciate these three groups and their music/concepts more as well which is always a huge plus!
- Started taking Korean lessons: Probably my favorite thing I accomplished this year! I’ve done 11 lessons and have come a long way from when I started back at the beginning of November. I’m taking a break this week (but will keep studying and I have a lot of homework due for the next lesson), but am super excited to continue next week! I’m also super happy I found the tutor I did because she’s truly wonderful and a great teacher.
- No longer buying games at launch: After the mess that was Fallout 76, and then buying a couple of broken games this year at full price (and no, Cyberpunk 2077 was not one of them actually!), I have finally made this decision to no longer buy games at launch. I do have a couple of exceptions, and that would only be: Nier remaster, Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and Resident Evil Village. I’d also include anything by FromSoftware on the list since they don’t seem to release broken games. Anyway, this is just me being frustrated at the fact that companies release broken games and just patch them within a few months.
- Leaving instagram for good: I had a video game screenshot editing account on there that I opened back in February of this year. It picked up when the pandemic started and I was really into it for a few months. However, in recent months, especially since starting my Korean lessons and thinking about my future goals, there really is just no place for the account anymore. I kind of see it as this: it was something I had to help me get through that specific moment in time. I will miss it for sure, but I can’t even be bothered to take screenshots anymore. I just want to play the video game.
- Opening this blog: Though I neglected this blog for a bit over the past couple of months, I am glad I opened this and got a personalized URL for it as well! It’s been a little all over the place while I figure out what I really want to do here, but I have ideas for 2021. Stay tuned!
What are my goals for 2021?
- Maximize my language studying: I am continuing my Korean lessons, however, I am also adding not one other language, but two other languages to the mix as well. Tomorrow, I am meeting (over Zoom, don’t worry) a Japanese tutor, and Saturday, a Mandarin Chinese tutor to go over their course and a study plan. I’m really excited for it, and this is another reason why I gave up instagram as well to give me plenty of time to study three languages! I’ll post about my progress here as well!
- Listen to 12 audiobooks: this is a minimum of one audiobook a month. That should be easily doable!
- Only focus on my passions and not the excess noise: this was a huge problem I had this year. I was trying to incorporate just a little too much of everything, and ended up with absolutely nothing in the end. I’ve really learned to deal with this over the past couple of months. For me personally, even having 2-3 hobbies I am really into is good, instead of trying to have about 20 that I barely know anything about.
- Get to 8500-9000 trophies and 75 platinum trophies on Playstation Network: I really fell back into the whole Playstation trophy hunting thing the last couple of months and am really going for it next year! I think this will also help with my backlog as well, weirdly enough. I’ve been using PSNProfiles to track my progress so it’s helpful to see which games I played for about 10 minutes 10 years ago that I can easily go back to and play to completion soon.
- Watch at least one k-drama, one j-drama, and one regular show per month: I also don’t think should be too hard. I also think this will be helpful for my language studies as well.
I think that about wraps up my 2020 in review. I know it’s pretty basic, although it was interesting to look back over the year and stuff that happened for me personally. I feel like most of the good stuff has happened in the last couple of months, including getting that feeling of hope back. I’m excited for 2021. I know at least the first half of the year will still be difficult for many people. I am holding out hope that things will slowly start to go back to normal starting in the summertime, and maybe by this time next year we will almost be fully back to normal!
Until next time, friends. Take care and stay safe!
- Screenshot Sunday – Spider-Man: Miles Morales!by Paige
In my last post, I mentioned how I wasn’t really feeling Instagram these days. And that still holds up. I decided every Sunday, I will post roughly 5-6 (or more) screenshots from the game I am currently playing or a game I have recently finished. What better way to start than with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, an incredibly fun experience with a solid story that was definitely worth going through more than once for the platinum trophy. I had so much fun with this one. I’m a fan of Spider-Man in general, and really loved the first game that came out a couple years ago. Also, it was nice to play as Miles and learn more about him. I’m glad he seems to finally be getting more recognition these days. He’s a great character and a great Spider-Man. The ending left me very excited to see where Insomniac Games is going to take the story next and whether we will be playing as both Peter and Miles. I’m hoping that we can or at least get the choice to!
My favorite thing about this game was definitely Spider-Cat. Spider-Cat is part of the Bodega Cat Suit and is unlocked at the end of the game after completing the main story. You also have to complete the sidequest, Looters. Once you have that sidequest done along with the main story, all you need to do is visit Miles’ apartment which will then unlock the post end game content which includes paying a visit to Teo’s Bodega for the Cat’s Pajamas sidequest which unlocks the suit! It’s entirely worth it, and I have screenshots to prove it!
First off, Spider-Cat appears in all the cutscenes… I picked one of the first cutscenes in the game to avoid huge story spoilers.
Spider-Cat is also in the loading screens giving helpful tips.
Honestly, that last one is my absolute favorite for some reason.
And of course, Spider-Cat is very cute and snuggly in the selfies!
The photo mode in this game is also really good. I like that more and more games are including it now. I might load into the game again in the future and mess around with it a bit more since there are stickers and different lighting methods you can use as well.
That concludes my first Screenshot Sunday post. Apologies that this one is on the shorter side. I’m hoping to get these to be a bit longer as I get used to doing them, so look forward to that!
Until next time, stay safe friends!